Wed, Nov 08, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Chang Hwa on track for a turnaround

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chang Hwa Bank (彰化銀行), the nation's seventh-largest lender by assets, expects its profitability to soar this year after posting a huge loss last year and for the growth momentum to continue next year, the bank said yesterday.

Its pre-tax profit last month reached NT$1.45 billion (US$44 million), bringing the total for the first 10 months of the year to NT$11.72 billion, or NT$1.85 per share, the bank said.

The state-controlled bank forecasts pre-tax profits of about NT$14.5 billion for the full year, compared with a loss of NT$36.52 billion last year after writing off NT$59.47 billion of bad debts.

Chang Hwa has recovered NT$5.69 billion from auctioning off bad loans in the first 10 months, Chang Hwa's president Miles Chang (張明文) said, adding that it expects to recover a total of NT$6.5 billion this year.

Chang Hwa is planning to set up a representative office in Hanoi, Vietnam, an increasingly popular investment destination for Tai-wanese firms, the bank said. The office may be opened in 2008 after getting approval from financial regulators in Taiwan and Vietnam.

The bank is scheduled to hold its regular board meeting on Nov. 22. Chang declined to comment on whether the agenda would include discussions about hiring financial advisers to evaluate a share swap plan with Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控), its largest shareholder with a 25 percent stake.

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